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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleIn the City of Limerick
Roud No.21203
Collected FromPillinger, John
LocationLechlade
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 105
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 25th December, 1915, p 2, Part 11, No. 8
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

In the City of Limerick, where I was first born,
All young men, my companions, looked on me with scorn;
In the City of Limerick, they bound me a slave,
For in my own country I could not behave.

Verse 2

My foot's on the ocean, my heart's on dry land,
When I think of my Polly dear it puts me to stand;
If I was on board ship and my Polly dear with me,
Bound down in strong irons I would think my self free.

Verse 3

I can't tell the reason why women love men,
I can't tell the reason why men do love them;
For a woman's my ruin, my sudden downfall,
She's caused me to lie betwixt lime and stone wall.

Verse 4

Here's a health to my father, who's living today,
Likewise to my mother, she's cold in her grave;
Then you may wear the red rose, and I'll wear the thyme,
You drink to your true love and I'll drink to mine.

Verse 5

The time is approaching when I shall get free,
Straight home to old Ireland my Polly dear to see;
If I was on board ship and my Polly drear with me,
Bound down in strong irons, I should think myself free.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'Offences against the law, their consequent punishment and the repentance of the culprit afford the ballad writer abundant materials. The songs themselves seldom exhibit any particular brilliance, but they are interesting, if only as being illustrative of the weaker side of human nature. Obtained of John Pillinger.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'Offences against the law, their consequent punishment and the repentance of the culprit afford the ballad writer abundant materials. The songs themselves seldom exhibit any particular brilliance, but they are interesting, if only as being illustrative of the weaker side of human nature. Obtained of John Pillinger, Lechlade.'

Note 2

In Verse 4 Line 4 the WGS text is:

You drink to your true love and I will drink to mine.

There are also minor differences in punctuation between the Ms and WGS versions of the text.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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